Visit Reports
Visit Reports

Aug 14, 2006, 16:04

Sagle, Idaho
Randy & Colleen Russell

by: Judith E. Bessette, Ed.D
Compass Educational Consulting, LLC
Visit on June 12, 2006

In northern Idaho, nestled in a grove of glorious old evergreens, Randy and Colleen Russell have created a tranquil setting for hosting their Empowering Young Adults Parent Workshop, just one of the offerings of their new endeavor, SouLore. The Russells, founders and former owners of Life Designs in Cusick, WA, have turned their attention to providing workshops, ceremonies, initiations and coaching/consulting for soulfully navigating life's transitions. These transitions include a teen's move into adulthood, adults adjusting to midlife and beyond and for navigating "bumps in the road" at any age.

I recently had the pleasure of attending a parent workshop designed to help parents learn how to prepare a teen to enter adulthood through a ceremony to formally launch them into "responsible and soulful success." For two and a half days, Randy and Colleen shared information with a group of six, and skillfully led discussions and group learning experiences sprinkled with generous amounts of time for quiet reflection in the out-of-doors.

The workshop (1) examines the steps to autonomy that bring peace and passion to self, family and community; (2) presents ways to formally celebrate the entrance into adulthood and (3) offers ways to create an optimal "adult to adult" relationship between parent and child. The workshop is meant to revive participants' creativity and passion through hands-on exercises that bring clarity and purpose. The material covered in their words, combines "the findings of new technology with ancient earth-born wisdom." The Russells do an excellent job of balancing the analytical and the intuitive.

Coming from different areas of expertise Randy and Colleen bring special points of view to the table. Randy's background is in communications, education and recreation. He holds a Master's Degree from The University of Tennessee. He has experience working in traditional youth ministry, therapeutic and emotional growth programs, and more recently has completed formal training in earth-born spirituality and practices. Randy is a third generation Elder (in the native sense) who was initiated into adulthood by wise parents. His own experience, coupled with his connection to the earth makes him a potent teacher.

Colleen's specialty is in Women's Studies, with an emphasis on a woman's journey into wholeness. She has taught transition skills for the past twelve years and has done extensive research and training in all areas of soul growth. Her undergraduate studies were in journalism and she also holds a Master's Degree from The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. She has a special talent for using story as an instructional device and offers insight into both metaphor and archetypes.

The Russells work together beautifully - and serve as an inspiring model for parents. They deliver the meaning of SouLore - the wisdom of the soul. The Empowering Young Adults Parent Workshop costs $350 per person and will be offered once more this year and at least six times next year. The schedule as well as information on other family workshops, is available online at Talk to Colleen or Randy if you are interested in their work but need to schedule a workshop at a different time.

In addition to this workshop, SouLore also offers opportunities for personal growth through Soul and Spirit Journeys as well as Consulting Services for other educational, therapeutic and/or emotional growth programs. Program staff may want to consider this workshop for their parents .…especially those whose teens are about to complete their program. Quite often, even though the parent workshops offered by the program are excellent, Mom & Dad may still feel the need to develop stronger communication skills to use with their son or daughter once they are home. Unencumbered by the stress and strain of the graduation process, SouLore may offer the icing on the cake many parents want…and need. And, who doesn't need more wisdom for the soul!!

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